The Holocaust Essay

1215 words - 5 pages

It is without a doubt that the Holocaust will forever go down in history as one of the most heinous crimes against humanity. Even years after the Nazi leadership, effects of the war still haunt the streets of Germany and the memories of the few survivors still alive today. Hitler and his Nazi regime held power in Germany from 1939 until 1945, when they were defeated by the Allied forces (Davenport 10). Within that time, Hitler was responsible for the death of six million Jewish people, and millions of other non-Jews. (Davenport 10) However, when the war ended, it was a big question as to who to blame for these horrendous crimes. Several of Hitler’s head leaders, and Hitler himself, either committed suicide or went into hiding before they could be captured (Austin 2000). In Hitler’s last testament, he was quoted to have said, “I do not wish to fall into the hands of enemies who will need a spectacle arranged by Jews” (Davenport 18). However, Hitler left behind several of his top officers and commanders, who were rounded up and taken to Nuremberg for trial (Davenport 16). Along with the Nazi soldiers and generals, between 100,000 and 250,000 Germans directly played a part in the killings and persecution of Jewish citizens in Nazi Germany (Davenport 13). Some believe that it was necessary to hold all German citizens responsible for their involvement in these crimes against humanity; however the Nuremberg trials were the best solution for justice, as they showed ignorance and duty were no longer viable excuses for crimes, and they set a precedent for future trials by demonstrating a strong intolerance for genocide.
Before the trials began, the Allied forces debated on whether it was necessary to try these men, or if it would be best to simply execute them without trial. Britain and America, wanted execution without trial, but Soviet Russia actually demanded a public trial, and said that there would be no execution without a fair trial (Davenport 19). Later, it was proven that the USSR was correct in pushing for a trial to occur. If the United States had continued its argument to not to go through with the trial, it would jeopardize the values that the country was built on. The trials began with a 24,000 word indictment, taking nearly two days to read (Levinson 578). Each of the men was tried on four counts, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (Levinson 578), by a set of judges and jury that represented each of the Allied countries (fix citation). By having a fair and just trial, it gives the court the power to show that every human, no matter what the crime, has the right to a fair trial and that justice would eventually be served. By exercising the justice system, it also allowed the public to view the magnitude of the crimes committed by the men, and the level of involvement that each of them had in Nazi activity.
The trial brought many chilling pieces of evidence against the men....

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